Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mavericks on Target, End Loss String at 20

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mavericks on Target, End Loss String at 20

Article excerpt

The Dallas Mavericks went to the Mayo Clinic of National Basketball Association arenas to cure their ills, snapping their losing streak at 20 games with a 93-89 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night.

The Mavericks used Target Center, the site of their only other victory this season, to avoid breaking the single-season record they share with the Philadelphia 76ers, who lost 20 in a row in the 1972-73 season.

The NBA record for consecutive losses, 24, was set over two seasons by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1981-82 and 1982-83.

In addition to losing to Dallas here on Nov. 12, Minnesota also has been hospitable to Detroit, which broke an eight-game losing streak at Target Center two weeks ago, and Washington, which snapped a 10-game skid here Monday. The Timberwolves are 3-10 at home.

Jim Jackson scored 28 points and Sean Rooks added 26 for the Mavs.

Micheal Williams, who played all but 4.5 seconds because of a heel injury to backup point guard Chris Smith, had 33 points for the Wolves.

The Mavericks led 78-66 after three quarters, but the Timberwolves rallied in a wild fourth quarter that included the ejection of Dallas rookie Jamal Mashburn.

Rookie Isaiah Rider's 3-pointer pulled the Timberwolves to 82-79 with 5 minutes 34 seconds to go. After Rooks scored on a drive, Mashburn's hard foul sent Rider to the floor with 4:37 to play. Rider was assessed a technical foul for trying to start a fight with Mashburn, who was ejected for his flagrant foul. Mashburn finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Rider had 13 points.

Two baskets by Williams cut Dallas' lead to 86-84 with 3:50 remaining. But Williams then threw a bad pass - his eighth turnover and the 21st of Minnesota's 22 - and the Mavs made six of eight free throws down the stretch.

The Mavs spent most of last season trying to avoid matching Philadelphia's 9-73 record of 1972-73, the worst in NBA history. They succeeded - barely - by getting victory No. 10 against Minnesota in their next-to-last game. They also won their finale and finished 11-71.

***** Nuggets 106, Rockets 93

HOUSTON - Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf scored 24 points as Denver beat Houston, spoiling the Rockets' bid to match the record for the best one-loss start in NBA history. The Rockets, who entered the game 22-1, were trying to equal the 23-1 start by the 1969-70 New York Knicks.

The loss was Houston's first in 11 home games and broke its winning streak at seven games. The victory ended the Nuggets' road losing streak at nine games.

Hakeem Olajuwon, playing much of the fourth quarter with five fouls, led the Rockets with 35 points.

***** Cavaliers 107, Bucks 88

RICHFIELD, Ohio - Gerald Wilkins scored 20 points as Cleveland beat Milwaukee for its third successive lopsided victory. The Cavaliers have won their last three games - against Milwaukee, Utah and the Lakers - by an average of 21 points, after losing five in a row. …

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